Center Stage

Rob Opitz laid a really wild gig on me, playing at Center Stage in a horn section backing Iranian pop star Reza Sadeghi.



So...this dude is huge in Iran!  For us, the gig felt kind of like an out of control salsa gig:  charts flying by, extremely long break between sets, and NO ENGLISH for three hours (except for the keyboardist turning around to make sure we were about to play the right chart).  You have no idea how weird that feeling is.

We received the music the night before, so I had enough time to sort of prepare, but the three of us (Rob Opitz on trumpet and Wes Funderburk on trombone) were much closer to sight-reading than mastery.  Thank God that both Rob and Wes can read anything--they nailed almost of all of it.  Anything we missed was probably covered by the horns on the track (we were playing along with a sequencer), and the keyboard played a lot of keyboard parts with us.  The keyboard player even played a sax part and TOOK A SAX SOLO using the sax sound on his keyboard.  Nooooooooo!

The keyboardist and Reza were both from Iran, but the rest of the group (except for us) was based in Los Angeles.  Each dude was a really good, chopsy player.  The drummer told us that they wouldn't even go back to their hotel rooms after the show;  go get a drink somewhere and then head to the airport for a 6 AM flight back to L.A;  he figured to have just enough time to run home, grab his drums, and head out to play a wedding.  I assume the two Iranians were headed home as well.


It was great to step outside of the Yacht Rock thing and play a gig like a normal horn player, and of course it was great to hang out with Wes and Rob, and the performance was pretty incredible!


Here's one that we didn't play on:


Sunday:  Easter means church gigs!  I did two in the morning and one in the evening, with a giant nap in between.




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